On Wednesday, September 23rd, our government delivered its highly anticipated Throne Speech to unveil post-pandemic recovery plans. You can find the throne speech here.
This moment in history is an unprecedented chance to #BuildBackBetter and insist on a #JustRecoveryforAll and a livable future.
This means acting on the climate crisis and no longer funding destructive industry. It means helping workers and communities during a Just Transition to a circular economy of care. It means acting for racial justice and insisting that people and planet are no longer harmed and devalued. We must have a greener, healthier and equitable future! The time is now.
As part of the week for climate action, spearheaded by Fridays for Future Toronto (FFFTO) and culminating in the Global Day of Climate Action, Toronto350 has weighed in on how the Throne Speech stacks up next to a Green & Just Recovery, and issued the Report Card below.
A grade of "A" would meet expectations and far exceed them, "B" meets the expectations, "C" meets some but falls short and an "F doesn't meet any.
See an excerpt from our Report Card Comments below.
1) Put people's HEALTH & WELLBEING first. No exceptions.
• Protects the Environment: GRADE C
The Climate Crisis is a health crisis! As the throne speech reinforced, “Canadians [know] climate change threatens our health, way of life, and planet. They want climate action now, and that is what the Government will continue to deliver.” So far though, the Government actually hasn’t delivered enough climate action and commitments fall short of what is needed to protect the environment.
Some of the commitments in the speech, following the acknowledgment “of the importance of nature” include:
- expand urban green spaces
- meet prior commitment to protect a quarter of the country’s lands and waters
- use nature-based solutions to address the climate crisis (i.e. fulfill program to plant 2 billion trees)
While these are important steps for ensuring an intact ecosystem and protecting peoples’ health and wellbeing, we need significant action to protect biodiversity and create nature-based carbon sinks like those represented by the Boreal Forest and agroecology. The speech doesn’t fully address industrial practises that harm nature. It also does not acknowledge Indigenous land stewardship....
For more comments and Watch Party Asides see Report Card Comments!
Stay tuned for:
- Additional Responses
- Video Response: Parent-Teacher Interview
- Printable posters to share in your neighbourhood
- Social media graphics & posts
Click here for more on TO350’s Grading Touchstones framed by the Just Recovery Principles.
Call to action for Canada to act now to secure a just and livable future for all.
We at Toronto350 call on the Canadian government to follow through on its recent commitments to “build back better” and invest in a green recovery in the wake of COVID-19. This moment presents a critical opportunity to shift our course toward a better future. Either we plan to meet our Paris Agreement targets, and invest in the health and wellbeing of our communities, or we leave a legacy of defeat in an ever-warming future. As COVID-19 lays bare the appalling inequalities and injustices ever-present in Canadian society, our demands grow more urgent. Paying lip service to the issues that impact us is not enough. Dangerous climate warming leading to more extreme weather events; a growing socioeconomic gap; the rights of workers to sick leave and other basic entitlements; access to affordable and decent housing; respect for Indigenous sovereignty – these are just a few of the issues we face that are crucial to address. We cannot and will not return to the “old normal”- we know that building back better means prioritizing people before profit and investing in ways that safeguard the health and well-being of all.Read more
On Monday morning, the Just Recovery principles launched! People are ready for a #JustRecoveryforAll, a positive transformation of society that stems from COVID instigated reforms. According to EKOs research from earlier in May, 73% of Canadians are ready in fact! This bodes well for the change we need to see, to #BuildBackBetter, to address the inequalities that are currently embedded in our system and make choices that protect our long-term health and wellbeing.
Art by Corrina KeelingRead more
TRUDEAU AND FOSSIL FUELS
On April 20, the Trudeau government, as part of its economic responses to the ravages of the pandemic crisis, announced that it was allotting 1.7 billion dollars to the fossil fuel industry to help clean up orphaned oil and gas wells. There was also an additional 750 million dollars to reduce industrial methane emissions. This is a small step in the right direction of assuming our environmental responsibilities.
News about our government’s actions during COVID-19, in relation to a potential oil and gas bail-out, is coming in fast! Toronto350 members support a just recovery where funds go directly to workers, people and communities, helping create a greener, healthier future. This post is the first in a series of responses. Also, see the end of the blog for a recap of what’s happened provincially and federally so far.